Also known as Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbate, this vitamin is essential for pretty much every major function in our body!
WHY WE NEED IT
Vitamin C is NOT made by the body but is essential for many body functions including the production of Collagen, iron absorption (hellooo ladies!), the immune system (hence it being great for flu season!), wound healing/tissue repair (CRUCIAL after any major injuries), stress management (see notes below), the maintenance of cartilage/bones/teeth and the production of certain neurotransmitters.
Vitamin C is considered a water-soluble vitamin meaning they are carried to the bodies tissues but cannot be stored in the body. For this reason, water soluble vitamins must be consumed daily; HOWEVER, Vitamin C is on a totally different level! It moves through your body FAST! So fast that it is generally used up within 2hrs and cleared from the blood within 3-4hrs. And if the body is under any stress (physical, mental, emotional..) Vitamin C is used up a heck of a lot faster – sometimes as fast as 1HR! (grrrreat..) 🤦🏼♀️ This means it could be beneficial to consume small amounts of Vitamin C throughout the day- DAILY to get optimal absorption and benefits. I generally suggest having Vitamin C with every meal or adding it to your water but remember- ask your own personal health practitioner what would be right for you.
WHEN TO TAKE IT
Because it is used by the body SO quickly, when recovering from a major injury, handling chronic stress, or showing flu symptoms, it’s important to be consuming Vitamin C on an hourly basis. For regular maintenance and conditioning, you can break up your daily dosage into 3 doses throughout the day or again, add it to your water or a regular routine that will remind you to take it regularly. The main take away: ideally DON’T take all of your daily Vitamin C in one-go. At least take half in the morning and half at night if you forget to have some during the day so that you get your full bang for your buck and so that your body has a chance to use it optimally.
HOW MUCH TO TAKE
Most people are not consuming enough daily Vitamin C – primarily because the levels of vitamin C in our foods have dropped drastically over the years due to pollution, GMO’s, toxic chemicals and so forth. When supplementing, you’re taking it to bowel tolerance—yes that’s exactly how it sounds! 💩 Ideally, you can supplement with Vitamin C up to bowel tolerance (remember, it’s SUPER high in antioxidants so it can have a strong laxative effect when taken in high doses) and once you’ve reached that point, decrease the dose amount slightly so that you’ve found a comfortable amount (usually backing off about 500mg). MOST people can take about 1000-2000mg a day before reaching bowel tolerance however I have known some people that have neded to take 5000mg+ a day due to high amounts of stress!! And STILL didn’t reach bowel tolerance! Which is why it is so essential to listen your own personal body and work with a health practitioner when finding the right dose amount for you.
At this level, Vitamin C works very much like an Antibiotic, Antihistamine, Antitoxin, Antipyretic, Antidepressant and will even curb your appetite! (check out Dr. Andrew Saul for more info on this). Start with 500mg and slowly work your way up! Your daily dosage will change based on the amount of stress and activity your body is under.
Vitamin C has also been known to be used in therapeutic doses and has been proven to kill cancer cells in humans which goes to show just how POWERFUL of an antioxidant this awesome vitamin is! 💥
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
🍋 ASCORBIC ACID
This is what is naturally found in foods. Look for natural or synthetic forms without any fillers, additives, preservatives or sweeteners such as maltodextrin – however it is quite acidic and can sometimes be too acidic on its own which may irritate the gut.
Plant compounds that function as antioxidants and are generally added to ascorbic acid to help increase the bioavailability and may also be less acidic and more tolerable on the gut.
🧂ASCORBATE or BUFFERED VITAMIN C
Ascorbate (a salt/negativley charged ion in ascorbic acid), often known as buffered vitamin C, generally consists of mineral salts (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium etc.) added to ascorbic acid which often makes it less acidic and can be more tolerable in high doses- hence why it is known as ‘buffered’ Vitamin C! However it is a good idea to be mindful of what else has been added if you plan on take high doses.
⏱ TIME RELEASE
This acts just like it sounds- a time-release formula helps to slowly release Vitamin C throughout the day so that you don’t have to remember to take it! It is also thought to be more bioavailable, depending on the brand/ingredients. However I’ve always been a bit skeptical around time-release formulas, especially because *most* of these products you still need to take quite a bit of and how do we truly know if each body will “time-release” the way it is intended? Just something to think about when choosing a supplement as we are all biochemically different!
MY PERSONAL NOTES & QUICK TAKEAWAYS
While I personally believe that everyone could benefit from taking a Vitamin C supplement daily, it’s also a good idea to remember that eating fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C is still SO essential- not only for the Vitamin C content but for the other numerous vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber that comes along with it. My motto I like to go with is: Eat your vitamins but supplement when necessary!
👩🏼⚕️ And remember, always consult your own personal health practitioner when trying new supplements!
Vitamin c is ESSENTIAL FOR
- Immune function
- Iron absorption
- Energy production
- Brain function
- Cell metabolism/Tissue Repair
- Enzymatic Production of certain Neurotransmitters
For optimally levels, opt for raw, local, seasonal (or even wild)…
- Citrus fruit (especially the pith and seeds!)
- Dark leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables
- ….think all of the bright coloured fruits, veggies and teas!
“Eat more plants. Do more yoga. Read more books.”